Tools: Grilling Essentials

Your kit bag for outdoor cooking

Most grilling tools are arguably a waste of money, despite the glut of geegaws and specialty tools designed for use with the grill.

Here's our (short) list of grilling essentials and what to look for when buying:

Tongs and Spatulas: For turning steaks and ribs, we like a pair of long-handled metal tongs sturdy enough to withstand intense heat and lengthy enough to avoid toasted fingertips–like this 12-inch pair ($12). And to maneuver even the most delicate proteins on the grill, look for an oversize metal spatula ($42).

Brush: The best grilling brushes are long-lasting and made entirely of stainless steel: no plastic handles that might melt. The best brushes, like Rösle's Barbecue Grill Cleaning Brush ($45), feature replaceable bristles and can be put wholesale in the dishwasher.

Mitts: Far too often, our forays into grilling leave us with burned knuckles. So we always look for hefty, resilient oven mitts that can weather a grill's concentrated heat–like these grilling mitts ($20 to $35).

Thermometer: The most important grilling tool of all is quite possibly a good thermometer. No one, after all, likes meat that's undercooked–or worse–over-cooked. Handiest of all is an easy-to-read digital thermometer ($20).